what is 3D Animation

Animation is a technique that uses graphics motions to bring your drawn illustrations to life. You can use animation to create an illusion of movement in your characters, props, objects, backgrounds, and more. However, 3D animation services are a more advanced form of animation technology, and you see 3D animation used in films, cartoons, TV shows, and video games.

Whether you are a marketer or an aspiring student searching for info about 3D animation, you are in the right place. This post will not only teach you about the basics of 3D animation but also provide insight into 3D animation as a career path. So let us get started.

What is 3D Animation?

3D animation refers to a process that involves the creation of characters, creatures, objects, and props moving in a three-dimensional digital environment. You must use decent 3D animation software to create and animate all the elements of your 3D animations.

What is the Difference Between 3D and 2D Animations?

If you are a creative art director or an animation artist, you must decide whether you use 3D animations or 2D animated videos for your project. As 2D technology works on X and Y axis; therefore, you will see characters and backgrounds moving on the screen without any depth.

However, if you wish to create more immersive and visually appealing graphics, 3D animated videos are the best option. You have to remember that 3D animation is a more complex technique and will require more time and budget for production.

That said, 3D video animations are more realistic compared to 2D animations. Therefore, your target audience will be more entertained and interested in the former animation technology.

Who Can Use 3D Animations?

3D animated video production is growing in popularity. According to Statista, the global 3D animation market size will surpass $27 billion by 2026. The reason behind its prediction is the demand for 3D animated video production services worldwide.

From digital marketing campaigns to fundraiser campaigns, 3D corporate training animations to advertisements, and education to the entertainment industry, 3D animation is benefiting several sectors. If you are a business owner or marketer wondering if 3D animation can help you, here is a list of the most popular 3D animation services.

  •         3D cartoon animations
  •         3D Medical Animations
  •         3D Architectural Rendering
  •         3D Game Trailer Animations
  •         3D Product Modeling and Animations
  •         3D Explainer Video Animations
  •         3D Training Video Animations and more

11 Steps to Create Appealing 3D Animations

The complexity of 3D animation video production makes it a process that requires excellent attention to detail. Therefore, it involves the following eleven steps that you must familiarize yourself with.

Step #1 – The Animation Idea

The first step in your 3D animated video production is to think of a concept or idea that is original. This will also be the foundation of your storyline. This is one of the most important steps in the entire process, and 3D animation service providers spend years getting the concept or storyline right before moving on to the next step of storyboarding.

Step #2 – Creating a Storyboarding

Once you have the storyline and script in hand, it is time to sketch visuals on a storyboard. Your 3D artists will create sketches for every character, every movement, and every scene. This will allow you to see the action sequence of action and cinematic presentation of your 3D video animation. Think of your storyboard as a blueprint for your 3D animation production.

Step #3 – Creating 3D Models

At this point, you have the storyline, script, and storyboard with details of each character, object, prop and background required. Therefore, now you have to start creating the 3D models of each of these elements.

Your 3D animators will use 3D animation software to create rudimentary compositions using spheres, cubes, and planes. Some of the 3D animation tools you can use are Blender, Autodesk Maya, and Z-Brush.

Step #4 – Texturing

 You will be all set to initiate the texturing phase once you have created all the 3D objects that will be a part of your 3D animated video. In the texturing phase, you will be giving your characters, objects, proper, and backgrounds an outer layer finish.

For instance, you will provide texture to your characters by defining their clothing, skin, and hair. Similarly, you will be texturing cars and machines with the metal finish while adding fur to any pets or animals within your animated 3D video.

Step #5 – Rigging and Skinning

Apart from texturing, you will also need to create the muscular-skeletal structure of your character and animals. This is very important as you will use this structure to incorporate adequate movements in the characters and creatures.

During this stage, you will also smooth the joints of the skeletal structure of characters, objects, and machines. This process is known as skinning, as you provide the skin on skeletons to cover the mechanics happening underneath the things.

Step #6- Animating

Now you have everything ready that you will need to animate the entire storyboard into action. At this stage, you will be animating each and every character and object via a sequence of actions and movements in each scene.

You can either hire a team of in-house 3D animation artists for this job. However, one of the most cost-effective strategies is to hire a 3D animation production company to take care of your entire 3D animation project.

The best part about working with a 3D animated video production company is that you will gain access to all their resources, including storyboard creators, scriptwriters, 3D artists, 3D animators, voiceover artists, and music creators.

A 3D animation production outsourcing service will be a hassle-free approach. You will enjoy the benefits of the most-enticing 3D animated videos.

Step #7 – 3D Rendering

Now you are ready to generate 3D animations with the rendering process. You can use a computer graphics processing unit (GPU). Your 3D animators will enter the rendering requirements into the 3D animation tool, and it will produce the animation sequence per your desire.

This process is also known as image synthesis, and you will be able to formulate the following elements in your animation sequence.

  •         Texture mapping
  •         Shading
  •         Depth of field
  •         Translucency
  •         Motion blur
  •         Reflections
  •         Shadows etc.

Step #8 – VFX and Compositing

Composting is a process that involves multiple render passes for each animated scene to create a final 3D animated video. During this step, you will have to refine elements, including coloring, shading, and lighting effects.

In order to take care of composting, you must use top-notch VFX compositing software such as NUKE. However, this is the final phase pertaining to the visual effects of your 3D animated video. The visual effects will complement your scenes and boost the visual appeal of each animated character, scene, and background. Think of this step as adding a layer of visual appeal to your final 3D animation rendition.

Step #9 – Voiceovers, Music, and Background Score

Now that your 3D video animation is complete, it is time for any voice overs, music, and background theme songs. However, you have to ensure that the voiceovers synchronize perfectly with the lips movements of each character or creature.

Similarly, you will have to add relevant sound effects for each object or action accordingly. This process is known as “Foley.”

Step #10 – Final Edit

This is the second-last step to make final tweaks and polish any rough edges around the entire 3D animated video. From every character to action and scene to sequence, you will go through the whole animation and make edits to the visual appeal, voiceovers, music, and animation speed.

Step # 11- Release

Once you have taken care of all the above-mentioned steps, your 3D animation is ready for final rendering and release. All you need is to click on render, and you are all set to receive a final version of your 3D video animation.

Who is a 3D Animator?

A 3D animator is an expert who can manipulate your virtual props, machines, and characters in order to create an illusion of movement. This animation artist can also move elements of your animation through different environments while interacting with each other.

As a 3D animator, you will be able to produce digital and live-action animation sequences according to the storyboard and scripts. However, it is work that requires undivided attention throughout the process.

The necessary skills you need to hone as a 3D animation artist include the following.

  •         Creativity and imagination
  •         Ability to visualize abstract ideas and art
  •         Willingness to work as a part of a bigger animation team
  •         You must be a quick learner with the ability to absorb a large amount of information
  •         You require immaculate attention to details
  •         An excellent memory will help you remember every minute detail
  •         You must have excellent organizational skills and self-discipline
  •         Must be well-versed with the latest trends, and 3D animation software
  •         Ability to think outside the box

How Can I Become a 3D Animator?

If you wish to pursue 3D animation as a career choice, you must learn the basic concepts of technology. Build a skill set including sketching, drawing, and animating unique and original characters. You must also become well-versed in the latest trends, strategies, and 3d animation tools available in the market.

Learn to write a script, create storyboards and write dialogues. While this is not mandatory, the more you know about the entire process, the better opportunities you will get in the market. You must practice storytelling via characters, sounds, and visual effects.

You can enroll in a 3D animation course. This can be a paid course at an animation institute or an online course. You can also start your journey to become a 3D animator via self-learning. Several platforms like Coursera and Udemy offer online courses for free and at a discounted price.

Why not learn the basics through a free online course? Once you know enough, you can pay for advanced-level 3D animation training. Remember, learning software is a must-have skill to be a 3D animator.

Therefore, the more software you learn to operate, the better it is for you. No matter where you are and what level of expertise you may have, here are the 3D animation tools you must be good at.

  •         K-3D
  •         Autodesk Maya
  •         Blender
  •         Autodesk 3DS Max

Several other choices of software and tools are available in the market that you can try your hands on. You do not need to pay for the premium software package; simply get the free version of the ones you can and start practicing.

How Much Does a 3D Animator Earn?

If you are thinking about becoming a 3D animation artist, you can expect to earn a decent wage. According to Zippia, a 3D animator can earn an average salary of $73,596 per year. However, the overall salary spectrum for a 3D animator ranges from $50,000 to $120,000.

The exact salary a 3D animation production company or 3D animation services may offer will depend on several factors, including your expertise, location, company size, etc.

That said, the 3D animation artist earns the most money in the states of California, Nevada, Delaware, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Do some research on the average salary offered to 3D animators in your state before accepting an offer from an employer.

Ready to Produce Your 3D Animated Videos?

Whether you are a digital marketer or a brand owner searching for a 3D animation studio, we at Prolific Studio can help. We specialize in offering comprehensive 3D animation services to all our clients with guaranteed satisfaction.

Our team of in-house 3D animators will sit down with you to understand the entire animation concept. We will consult with you every step of the way and get your feedback before moving on to the next phase of 3D animated video production.

From animated commercials to corporate videos, we can produce high-end 3D video animations per your desires. Have an animation idea in mind? Speak to our 3D animation experts today.

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